Dear Tuffy Luv,
I’m almost 21 and have never had a boyfriend! I went to an all-girls high school and never socialized with guys. My circle of friends consisted of girls and this carried on as I entered university.
It’s not that I’ve never been approached before. I just think I have never met a guy I’ve genuinely been interested in. Of course there have been the occasional crushes, but those never went beyond physical appearances. I think I have high standards and easily pin point flaws in guys that immediately turn me off from the idea of being with them (eg: they lack manners or smoke), but it’s because I’m not interested in anything casual. If I am going to commit to a relationship, I have to be convinced we can make it last. Is it too much to ask for a guy who is kind and makes me laugh? (And who accepts me and my quirks?)
I don’t think I lack confidence and I don’t think I’m hideous looking. I think my problem is I don’t know how to act and talk to guys. I can be myself, but sometimes I can be blunt and lack empathy. My friends find my deadpan humor funny, but I think others don’t get it and it turns them away. To give you a better idea, I believe I may have Asperger’s Syndrome. I haven’t been diagnosed, but when I read about it, I can relate to, 95% of the signs and symptoms! I find whenever I talk to guys and people I don’t know very well, I have a difficult time holding my end of the conversation. I either don’t know how to engage the person or don’t know the appropriateness of the topics I can share.
I guess what I’m trying say in all of this is that I have issues with how to act like a normal and appealing young lady while still trying to be myself. I need some advice, pointers, and conversation topics that will get things rolling. Anything! Your opinion, stories you may have, etc.
Sorry for the long email. I’m sure I could have written this in five sentences, but I felt it was probably important to give you a sense of my history and personality to avoid the vague and typical answers.
Dear Ass Burgers,
Well, okay, first of all, let’s not diagnose you on an advice column.
[Lead image via CREATISTA/Shutterstock]
For those of you not in the know, Mayo Clinic sez: “Asperger’s Syndrome is a developmental disorder that affects a person’s ability to socialize and communicate effectively with others.” It’s sort of like really high functioning autism, in Aunt Tuffy’s understanding of it.
That being said, Aunt Tuffy ain’t Doctor Tuffy. And you ain’t Doctor Ass Burgers. Soooooo…
If you really think you have Asperger’s, get thee to a doctor, honey!! Said doc can help you understand your symptoms and give you various therapies to make life so much easier. In the meantime, while you’re still undiagnosed, let’s assume you’re just, like, a little socially awkward. With that being the case, there are so many ways you can help yourself.
Numero uno, of course, is developing those listening skills. This is a talent our society seems to shoop upon, but listening to other people–like, truly, actually LISTENING to other people–makes them *GASP* like you.
So when you meet guys, if you find yourself blabbering on, let them get in on the action. A conversation should generally be 50/50: you talk half the time, they talk half the time. Be engaged in what you’re saying AND in what the other person is saying.
And be more sensitive. If they tell you something that’s important to them, don’t make a joke about it. This, my dear, is just common decency. Yes??
As for your high standards–yes, of course you should have them!!! And, yes, absolutely, you deserve to be with someone who is kind and who makes you laugh–as long as YOU are kind to THEM and YOU make THEM laugh. You get what I’m saying here?! It’s give and take. 50/50.
And sometimes you don’t know if a guy is going to be good until you get to know him better. So a first date here and there is in order. I think your idea that you’re “not interested in anything casual” is just an excuse to opt out of dating. How the floop do you know what someone’s like before you’ve hung out with them?! Seriously. A dinner here and there is not a big deal. That is really not worth whining about how you don’t want to “commit.” You can’t “commit” to salad AND an entree?! Just have coffee, then. It’s really not so much to ask to give the guy a half hour. GEEZ.
Okay, and so, on to topics. Let’s get back to this 50/50 idea, right? Ask him questions about himself. That is 100% guaranteed to get the conversation going. Hopefully you’ll find out something you have in common. If not, hopefully he’ll have something interesting to say about stuff he likes. So, questions you can ask:
-What kind of music do you like?
-Have you seen any good movies?
-I just read about [topic]. Have you heard about that? / What do you think?
Or you can take the route of telling him something about yourself and seeing if there’s any common ground there. For instance:
-You know what I just got into? [thing you got into]
-I’ve been watching [thing] and I thought [stuff]…
And if you’re really brave or really bored:
-What do you think about the government / religion / gender roles?
Good luck, kiddo.
Hearts & Skulls,
Qvestion?! Ansver: Ask Tuffy Luv by emailing us at TuffyLuvCC [at] gmail [dot] com.